By Elliot Fisher MS, CSCS, PES, NSCA-CPt
A deload week is an easy week of training. It is lighter and less volume than a normal week of training. The purpose is let your body and mind relax after 3-5 hard weeks of training. This can help you push yourself more during your normal training, not get burnt out from training hard, and prevent injuries.
There are a ton of options for a deload week.
You could just take a week completely off. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re extremely burnt out from training. But it’s an easy option.
Another option is to do a different kind of workout for that week. You can try yoga for a week, or other stretching plan. Or your could do a group fitness class instead of traditional lifting. Even just doing your cardio that week can work. Something that’s easier and gives you a physical and mental break.
I usually train 10-20 hard sets/muscle group/week. On my deload week I’ll do 4-8 easy sets/muscle group. Instead of doing the working weight I’ll do an easy weight, around 50% what I would have been doing and for about half the reps.
The benefit of doing light lifts is it can increase blood flow to the same muscles you’ve been training for the past couple of weeks which can facilitate with recovery more so than just resting or doing random activities.
At the end of the day you should be training hard enough that you can’t sustain it week after week after week. Taking an easy week every so often will help in the long run.
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